Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sweets Forest, Jiyugaoka

There's an expression that says Sugamo is "Grandma's Harajuku" because it's packed with stores that sell granny pants and snacks and lifestyle goods for the old woman set. I like to think Jiyugaoka is "Housewife Harajuku" for related reasons - think about the concentration of middle-aged clothing, accessories, homewares and snacks, and you'll know what I mean. If you don't know Harajuku, this could all be meaningless.  But Jiyugaoka has things to appeal to other people, and above the really good baking specialty store Cuoca lives Sweets Forest.

Careful readers will remember a post about a gyoza stadium, which was next to ice cream castle and dessert hell in Ikebukuro's Sunshine City. This is like the dessert version, moved south a few miles. I'd like to say it's upscaled for Jiyugaoka, but I don't think so. Certainly the entry gate is just as cheesy (but no entry fee here, thanks).

And inside they've at least made a tiny effort to look foresty. Pink and foresty.

And we can frolic among the flat pink trees and fight like hell for the limited seating. Usually places like this are heaving with shoppers and it's impossible to find seats. This day was hot as hell, so Sweets Forest, and in fact Jiyugaoka, was strangely empty...but not to the point that there were actual empty seats in the air-conditioned interior. We sat outside after buying stuff.

There's nothing too exciting - just a bunch of tolerable cake and dessert shops crammed into one fairy-pink forest space. And crepes. And ice cream. And I'm being kind when I say 'tolerable'.

But once in a while something takes my fancy, and this strawberry mont blanc on a meringue base was it. Fortunately, no strawberries were harmed in its production. But a significant quantity of sugar cane died for the cause.

We also couldn't resist this fruits-in-jelly Taiwanese dessert. It looks really cool, doesn't it?! You'd be sucked in too! And probably disappointed by the taste like we were.

That was it for Sweets Forest.

Back at the station, there's a Ranking Ranqueen store. Do you know that place? They rank 'trendy' products, I think by polling magazines or readers, and then bring them together under one roof. This product is called 'ass pillow' (really, read the label) and it's meant to cushion your delicate posterior when you're in the bath.

There were also these chemically enhanced vegetable waters. This is probably another case where astute readers will say "Jon, what the hell were you thinking, buying chemically enhanced vegetable water?" All I can say in my defense is that it may have been heat stroke from riding my bike in the morning, or sugar rush from the mont blanc. I had the yuzu-flavored one on the left, and it was revolting. I don't say that lightly. Imagine the flavor of tomato Pretz, or some other vegetable/salt-flavored snack cracker, dissolved in water and dilluted so it was faint but weird. Really, it wasn't good, and I present the labels mainly as a public service, or a novelty since these can't possibly stay on shelves for long, 'popularity' be dammed.

No comments:

Post a Comment